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Forums Adobe After Effects Illustrator file with many layers in group to be separated

  • Illustrator file with many layers in group to be separated

  • Lori Newman

    August 4, 2009 at 11:15 am


    I’m taking a designer’s Illustrator files that have about 300 layers and importing them to AE. They were all created on one layer. I released to build so that separated them all on different layers but still inside of that one layer. Short (or long) of copying and pasting each layer to a new layer above the group, is there a faster way?

    Thanks for your time and help.


  • Todd Kopriva

    August 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I did a Community Help search for ‘illustrator layers’, and the first search result seems to answer your question.

    Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
    putting the ‘T’ back in ‘RTFM’ : After Effects Help on the Web

  • Adolfo Rozenfeld

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I understand the problem you’re experiencing 🙂
    When you apply the “Release to layers (build)” command, AI creates nested sublayers in the main layer, instead of layers. And AE needs top level layers in order to separate them as such when importing an AI file as Composition. You’d have to select all the resulting sublayers and drag them up and out from the layer which contains them. This works perfectly, but it is cumbersome when you have a lot of sublayers.

    So much so that, about a year ago I requested in the Adobe AI scripting forum if someone could write a script to automate this (turning AI sublayers into top level layers without having to drag them out manually). And in fact scripting guru JETalmage wrote such a script:

    Adolfo Rozenfeld · Adobe

  • Adolfo Rozenfeld

    August 5, 2009 at 3:39 am

    BTW, I need to rectify something.
    The correct AI command to distribute groups/objects to layers is “Release to Layers (sequence)”. Not “Release to Layers (build)”, which is more for frame-by-frame style animation (it accumulates objects in the layer stack). I just happened to be using the latter recently, and thus my mistake.

    Adolfo Rozenfeld · Adobe

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